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Latest News: Obituaries

Passing of Dr. Dominick P. DePaola '60

Friday, May 17, 2013   (1 Comments)
Posted by: Michael Graziano
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Dr. Dominick P. DePaola, St. Francis Prep Class of 1960, a renowned dental educator and researcher, died unexpectedly April 16 at his home inPalm Beach Gardens,Fla. He was 70 years old.

"This is a sad day for dental education and research," Dr. Richard W. Valachovic, executive director of the American Dental Education Association, said in an email to ADEA leaders.

Dr. DePaola was the first person elected by his peers to the office of president of the ADEA. He also was elected president of the American Association of Dental Research and was the first person to hold both the ADEA and AADR presidencies. In 2005, ADEA presented Dr. DePaola with its Distinguished Service Award, one of many honors and awards earned in his lifetime.

At the time of his death, Dr. DePaola was academic dean of the Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine in
Fort Lauderdale,Fla. From 1998-2007, he was president and chief executive officer of Boston's Forsyth Institute, an independent research organization.

Earlier in his career, Dr. DePaola served as dean of three
U.S. dental schools: theDental School at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio; the New Jersey Dental School at theUniversity ofMedicine and Dentistry atNew Jersey; and the Baylor College of Dentistry,Dallas.  During his tenure inSan Antonio, Dr. DePaola also was acting dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

He was highly regarded for his research on nutrition as it relates to oral health and disease—work that earned him an honorary membership in the American Dietetic Association, the only dentist so honored.

Dr. DePaola published more than 80 scholarly articles and textbook chapters, and also edited two texts. He delivered more than 1,000 national and international lectures, seminars and special education courses. He also was a founding member of the Santa Fe Group, a think tank on dental policy and advocacy.

In 2009, he received the Gies Award for Outstanding Achievement in Global Oral Health and Education from the ADEAGies Foundation.

Born in
Brooklyn,N.Y., Dr. DePaola received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1964 fromSt. Francis College,Brooklyn Heights. In a 2011 interview for Inside Dentistry, Dr. DePaola lauded the education he received at St. Francis as preparation for a career in service to others.

"Essentially, they made it clear that we had a lot of opportunities ahead of us in life, and one of them could be caring for people," he said. "So that experience pushed me into thinking about what kind of profession I wanted to go into."

He earned his dental degree in 1969 from the New York University College of Dentistry and later completed a general dentistry internship at
Beth Abraham Hospital in New York City. He also earned a doctorate in nutritional biochemistry and metabolism from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Asked what advice he would offer today's dental graduates, Dr. DePaola told Inside Dentistry that new dentists should "train to be careful, critical thinkers."

He added, "They have to understand lifelong learning and be prepared for the unexpected, because change is imminent and continuous. They also need to really care about the health of the public."

A funeral mass for Dr. DePaola was scheduled for Saturday, April 20, at Brooklyn's St. Francis of
Paola Church, followed by burial at Calvary Cemetery in Greenpoint,Brooklyn.

Dr. DePaola is survived by his wife, Rosemary, and their daughter, Alexis. Donations can be made to the Dominick and Rosemary DePaola Scholarship Fund at
St. Francis College,180 Remsen St.,Brooklyn Heights,N.Y. 11201.


Martin J. O'Connor says...
Posted Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Flabbergasted and impressed at yet another outstanding Prepster who dedicated their life to improving the quality of life for others, while attending to the Franciscan spirit and raising a family. Our alumni are just replete with such exceptional men and women. It was a great pleasure to read some of the highlights of Dominick's life. Rosemary and Alexis you must be immensely proud of your family, condolences spoken and unspoken from fellow Prepsters, he is missed already. M.O. '73